ANTIPOLO — Converge import Jamaal Franklin shrugged off the obscene gesture he received from one of Magnolia’s coaches during the closing moments of their PBA Governors’ Cup encounter, Sunday night.
The ex-NBA cager got flipped off by no less than Hotshots deputy Johnny Abarrientos but insisted that nothing happened between him and the opposing mentors. In the end, he only has nothing but respect for their foes.
“Me and the coaches have no problems,” he said moments after their 111-109 win at the Ynares Center here.
“I tip my hat off to ’em, they have a good team.“
Franklin, though, believes that it may have been that crucial three-pointer he drilled that drew the ire of the cage luminary.
The 31-year-old faced a tough defensive stand from Rome Dela Rosa, but still managed to make the tough shot over the latter. That then stretched the FiberXers’ lead to six points, 111-105. with 1:05 left in the game.
Afterwards, he gestured in the direction of the Magnolia bench to keep it down, only to receive the finger by Abarrientos as seen on the broadcast.
“I think they were a little mad on the three I took,” said Franklin, who finished with 26 points on three treys alongside 13 rebounds and seven assists.
But the California native reiterated that there aren’t hard feelings whatsoever between him and the Hotshots. He even tipped his hat to guys such as Dela Rosa, Calvin Abueva, and Paul Lee in particular for the way they played.
“I tip my hat off to them, I tip my hat off to the other import. I tip my hat off to no. 19 and no. 13 who were guarding me – they were good physical defenders,” said the CBA veteran.
“They have a great system, and they play really well together. They have people who are playing defense, they have people who can shoot the three… I don’t know his name, no. 3 though, I mean, that boy can shoot. I tip my hat to them.”
Franklin added that Magnolia is a team they could face somewhere down the road should Converge make a deep run into the playoffs.
“That’s a good team. I see it as a team that we can probably, for sure… If we want to go deep in the Finals and make a run, and be a contender or be a championship team, I think we have to play them again,” he said.
For now, Franklin just has his sights set on their day off, hoping to rest and recover from the physicality he went through against the Hotshots.
“Look forward even more to this day off because they were real physical, so will give my body a little rest,” he said. “But I tip my hat off to the coach. But there was no problem between me and the coach.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.